#12 0

This clip is from an episode of How I Built This, a great podcast which interviews founders of well known companies. This episode focusses on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform.

This clip was selected to give you practice identifying redundancy in spoken English – all of those unnecessary extra words, phrases and mistakes that are a natural (but very confusing!) part of natural, spontaneous conversation.

, ... .
We were as we and, and that's ...that's as can do.
We were as fast as we and, and that's of as...that's as as you can do.

…and that’s kind of as

This dictation is a good example of a challenge that you will face very frequently when trying to understand native English speakers – redundancy.

Redundancy is basically anything that is unnecessary in a sentence. In spoken English, this can include repetition (e.g. and in this sentence is used twice), fillers (words or phrases that are used to fill silences, often to allow time for the speaker to think e.g. kind of in this dictation) and false starts (where a sentence or idea is begun and then abandoned (e.g. in this dictation: …that’s kind of as… ).

Redundancy is a completely natural feature of spontaneous spoken English (and other languages). The best thing that you can do is learn to recognise redundancy and ‘edit it out’ or ignore it to prevent it causing confusion. One way of doing this is to begin noticing common examples of redundancy (e.g. you knowkind ofsort of ).

This is an area that having a better understanding of individual words and phrases can be very useful – this will make it easier for you to identify redundancy and choose to ignore it. Over time, this will happen naturally and automatically.

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#41 0

This clip is from an episode of The Allusionist, which is a wonderful podcast all about language.

The speaker is talking about his work as a hand engraver – cutting text or designs into objects (usually jewellery) by hand. The speaker has a London accent.

And . .
And there's still for us it's it's . We're people do London.
And for us there's still out there for us it's it's a dying trade. We're the youngest people still do it London.

…it’s a dying trade

If someone refers to a job or profession as a dying trade, then they are saying that it is disappearing due to a lack of demand or need for it.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash.

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#40 0

This clip is from an episode of The Allusionist, which is a wonderful podcast all about language.

The speaker is talking about the way that the word ‘please’ is sometimes used differently in British and American English.

I say please person I , shouldn't this?
Every I say please to American person I , maybe I shouldn't doing this?

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

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#39 0

This clip is from an episode of the Adam Buxton Podcast, which is a brilliant, funny and interesting conversational podcast. This episode features an interview with singer-songwriter John Grant.

John and Adam are discussing how they cope with long journeys.

, , Eurostar Paris.
Well, I I'd long day , then I go straight Eurostar Paris.
Well, I mean I'd had a long day of interviews, then I was booked go straight to Eurostar in Paris.

…Well, I mean

These are examples of fillers – words or phrases that we add to sentences while we think or organise our ideas. These are very common in natural spoken English, and an important listening skill is identifying and then ignoring fillers.

…I’d had a really long day

Notice the weak/contracted pronunciation of the past perfect in this sentence: /aɪd hæd/ rather than /aɪ hæd hæd/.

Photo by Victor Lam on Unsplash.

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